Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The 2012 BES Annual Meeting

A Chance to Gather

Vollmer Center, site of BES' 2012 Annual Meeting
Every year near toward the end of October, the Baltimore Ecosystem Study Long-Term Ecological Research community meets to share results, insights, and accomplishments, as well as to look forward to the next year's activities.  Everybody who has an interest in our research, education, and community engagement is invited to attend.   Registration will be available on the BES Homepage.  This helps us keep track of attendance, and to collect the modest fees to cover the costs of lunch and a light breakfast.  There are several notable features of this year's Annual Meeting.

Keynote by Prof Sherry Olson
First, we are privileged to have Sherry Olson as our keynote speaker this year.  Prof. Olson is author of a classic book on Baltimore as well as other important works on urban geography and history.  As detailed in an earlier post (, she will talk about "The Growth Machine: Its Environmental Legacy."  This talk should put us in the mind for synthesis, which is one of the goals of our annual interactions as an inclusive community.

A Chance to Link Science and Art
This year's Annual Meeting will also feature a photography exhibit by Lynn Cazabon (  She is BES's first official Artist-In-Residence.  Building upon the success of our earlier connections with artists, BES is establishing a tradition to connect art and science.  Attendees at this year's meeting will be treated to a display of photographs from Lynn's widely known and acknowledged work.

Gearing Up for the Mid-Term Review
Midway through each six-year funding cycle, the National Science Foundation conducts an external review of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study LTER.  All LTER projects undergo this rigorous external evaluation to determine whether they are on track with the research, educational, and outreach commitments they made in their grant proposals.  These reviews also help each project prepare for its next full grant proposal to NSF.

Our mid-term review for this grant cycle will take place in October next year.  In order to make this most convenient for BES members, and to ensure a broad participation of our community, the mid-term review will overlap with part of the Annual Meeting in 2013.  Because of this, it is important for all members of the BES community to understand the mid-term review process, and to learn how to prepare to best articulate their role and contributions to the mission of BES.

Part of our preparation will be to outline the book that BES will design to synthesize what by then will be 15 years of integrated urban socio-ecological research, educational research and programs, and interaction with communities and decision leaders in the Baltimore region.  The Annual Meeting will be a chance to inform all members of BES about the plans for this book, and to be sure that all who wish to contribute have a pathway to do so.

Celebrate the Community
Lady Baltimore Statue at Cylburn
For many years now our meetings have also been associated with Parks & People Foundation's Community Greening Celebration.  This adds the dimension of interacting with individuals and groups that have made substantial improvements in Baltimore's environment and neighborhoods.  An awards ceremony, distinguished guests, food, and music are part of this celebration of the achievements of our neighbors and partners.

A Charm City Venue
Our meeting will take place at the Vollmer Center, nestled in the City's beautiful Cylburn Arboretum.  This location has been a hit with BES Annual Meeting attendees in the past. During breaks, join your firends and colleagues for walks on the many trails through the woods and gardens overlooking the Jones Falls Valley.  See you there!

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